The day of reckoning for Windows XP users is fast approaching. April 8 is when Microsoft will release the final security patches for the old operating system, and after that the user base is on its own.

Sure, Redmond has also outlined plans to support Security Essentials with definition updates until July 2015, and various antivirus and security software vendors will support the Windows XP for a few more years. But one analyst seems to be rather pleased with Microsoft’s strategy.

Michael Silver, a Gartner analyst has shared his thoughts on this.

And he believes that Microsoft needs to make sure that Windows XP is not completely abandoned, completely vulnerable after April 8. Extending support for Security Essentials, then, is a good step:

“Microsoft has a stake in ensuring Windows XP doesn’t get hammered after support ends. The danger is extended antimalware support could lull folks into a false sense of security.”

Browser makers and security software vendors both foresee a rather large Windows XP user base, even after it retirement, and have revealed plans to capitalize on it by supporting the OS beyond retirement.

However, some users may consider their computers to be in the safe after installing a paid antivirus program, when in reality there is a clear danger that cybercriminals will try their best to exploit any and all security flaws that are discovered in the operating system.

As a matter of pure fact there have been some instances where Microsoft actually skipped patching a few of its security flaws on Windows XP that were fixed in subsequent version of Windows in that same update cycle — MS09-048 back in September 2009, for instance.

The reason being that old architecture does not support some newer technologies. And it is flaws like these that Windows XP users and Microsoft will have be wary of the most.

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